The Lubbock Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance is official after the city council approved the results of the May 1 election on Tuesday.
Residents voted “yes” for the pro-life ordinance through a city-wide ballot measure, making Lubbock the largest city in the U.S. – and the first with an abortion facility – to outlaw abortions.
The official vote tally shows that 62.5 percent of the 34,260 votes cast were in favor of the ordinance, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. The city council voted to approve the election results Tuesday during their regular meeting.
In a statement May 1, Mayor Dan Pope promised that city leaders will abide by the will of the people.
“On behalf of the city council, our duty as elected officials is to begin the process in adding the approved ordinance to the City of Lubbock Code of Ordinances, as directed by the Lubbock City Charter,” Pope said.
The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect June 1.
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Now, many are waiting to see if Planned Parenthood, which runs an abortion facility in Lubbock, will comply or file a lawsuit. After the vote, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas said it is “carefully reviewing what the impacts of the ordinance may be.”
Though the abortion chain emphasized its commitment to abortion in Lubbock, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas also predicted that the ordinance will create “significant barriers” to abortion – meaning the ordinance will help save unborn babies’ lives.
In an interview with the pro-abortion site Jezebel, Drucilla Tigner, ACLU of Texas political strategist, said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that this ordinance is going to have a chilling effect on abortion access in Lubbock.”
The Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance recognizes that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected under the law. It prohibits abortions within city limits and outlines legal consequences for abortionists who abort unborn babies. It does not penalize women who seek or have abortions, and it does not prohibit abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the City of Lubbock, Texas,” the ordinance states.
It also defines an abortion as “the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant.”
The ordinance has both public and private enforcement mechanisms. The public enforcement mechanism establishes fines against the abortionist and anyone who helps with an abortion within city limits. However, it cannot be enforced until Roe v. Wade is overturned.
However, the private enforcement mechanism is immediate. It makes abortionists and those who help them “liable in tort to a surviving relative of the aborted unborn child, including the unborn child’s mother, father, grandparents, siblings or half-siblings,” meaning the abortionist can be sued for aborting the unborn child.
Nearly 30 cities in Texas and Nebraska have passed Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances, and more are considering action this spring.
Abortion activists have tried to stop the Sanctuary for the Unborn effort, but, last year, pro-lifers won a victory when the American Civil Liberties Union dropped its lawsuit challenging Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances in seven other Texas cities.
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Author: Micaiah Bilger
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